Does self-compassion benefit performance?
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1M ago
There are certain mental attributes that you’re sure to hear circling among athletes and coaches: motivation, grit, discipline, resilience, hustle. But self-compassion? I’m not sure that’s ever been mentioned on a football field.  Self-compassion, put simply Let’s start with the word’s Latin origin. “Com” means with and “passion” means suffering. So, compassion means how you are with suffering. When you’re going through a difficult period, are you demanding and harsh, engaging in negative self-talk? Or do you give yourself some grace and kindly guide yourself through the challenge? Most o ..read more
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Let curiosity take the lead
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
7M ago
I recently learned a new word: Informavore. It characterizes any organism that consumes information. You’re an informavore. I’m an informavore. In fact, all higher organisms are informavores. We are innately curious beings. We seek novelty and opportunities to explore everything from the vast reaches of the universe to the cellular mechanics of the human body. Take your athletic passion, for example. When you first started playing your sport, you probably did so because it was fun. But then, what kept you going? It was likely a sense of curiosity. You were driven to explore what your body was ..read more
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Training the brain for self-awareness
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
Change begins by telling your brain that you want to change. Growth begins by telling your brain that you want to grow. How do you train your brain? First, you set an intention. But, here’s the deal: You can’t set it and then float along, expecting that simply by setting an intention, you’ll get to where you want to go. Nope! The work is just beginning. Once you set an intention (say, a daily intention or a word of the year), you need to have enough self-awareness to recognize when your behaviors are aligned with that intention and when they’re not. Only with self-awareness can you expect to m ..read more
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My word for 2023
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
I sat down to meditate on January 1 after an unintended long hiatus. The holidays were wonderfully full of gatherings with family and friends, but as the new year began, I felt scattered. I’m someone who needs a lot of alone time (highly sensitive introvert here…nice to meet you). I crave time daily to think deeply, introspect honestly, create wildly, and exercise my curiosity. As the holidays go, that hadn’t been possible in a couple of weeks. Pile that on top of newborn life and, well, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to simply just be. So, as I sat on my meditation cushion early that mo ..read more
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How the brain leaks energy
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
I think mental energy is best described with this viral message: “My brain has too many tabs open, 4 of them are frozen, and I have no idea where the music is coming from” We all know the feeling. It’s clear that we don’t have unlimited mental resources. We need sleep, we need downtime, and we need frequent opportunities to recharge our brain’s battery.  But, why? Before we can answer that, we need to cover some neuroscience 101.  Brain cells communicate with each other through both electrical and chemical signals. Chemical signals are conveyed with messengers called neurotransmitt ..read more
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Releasing self-judgment to perform better
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
We often talk about strengthening the mind-body connection, but what does that phrase actually mean? It refers to a wide range of characteristics, but one of them is the ability for the mind to be still, so that the body can do what it knows how to do. It helps to think of the mind and body as Self 1 and Self 2. Self 1 is the ego-mind; the constantly chatting and judgmental voice in your head that nags a little too much. Self 2 is your unconsciousness, your body, and your nervous system. It functions best when it’s allowed to do what it’s been trained to do - when Self 1 quiets down and gets o ..read more
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Do this one thing to perform more consistently
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
Consistency. noun. The quality of always performing in a similar way. Consistency is an element of performance that every high performer is seeking. You’re good if you perform well on occasion. You’re great if you perform well regularly.  If you want to perform well, then you have to pay attention to how you prepare immediately before a performance. If you want to perform well consistently, then you should do the same thing before every performance. Enter . . . pre-performance routines. Pre-performance routines can span from the evening before a performance to the minutes or seconds immed ..read more
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Find your bliss
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
Ahh bliss. For me, bliss is a very real state of being. Of course, I’m not floating in bliss all the time - ha! But, I know exactly how it feels and I have a pretty good sense of what gets me there (hint: movement, meditation, nature, deep connection). For most, bliss is a foreign concept. It feels inaccessible and perhaps only reserved for a select few - the enlightened beings of the world.  But, here is one thing I know to be true: Bliss is available to each and every one of us, and you’re a heck of a lot closer to accessing it than you think. We’ve all experienced moments of bliss, whe ..read more
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Drawing towards the opposite
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
In every moment, we exist in both the external world and within our inner world. Most of the time, we are interacting with the environment around us. We consume information, engage with people, and perform outward-facing tasks for the benefit of our work, our family, or our community. For a few hours a day, we retire to silence and slip into the subconscious while we sleep. But, there’s a place in the middle. A place where we can exist internally more than externally; where we tune out the noise and focus on cultivating stillness within. Just as we can explore the outer limits of the universe ..read more
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The neuroscience of breathing techniques
Dr. Daya Grant Blog
by Daya Grant
1y ago
There’s a reason we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about breathing. It’s an automatic process driven by the oldest and most primitive part of the brain: the brainstem. More specifically, breathing is controlled by the medulla oblongata, which is a smaller region within the brainstem. These structures are common in all mammals, but humans are the only ones who can control their respiration (although there is some evidence that apes may be able to do this as well. The data is still filtering in).  We know that the way we breathe matters. In sport, there’s a growing interest in teaching ..read more
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